Ken Martin funeral in Tamworth farewells a Walcha legend

Family and friends were at the Alston Chapel in Lincoln Grove Memorial Gardens in Tamworth on Wednesday for the funeral service of Walcha's Ken Martin, who died on April 7, aged 75. Photo: Peter Hardin
Family and friends were at the Alston Chapel in Lincoln Grove Memorial Gardens in Tamworth on Wednesday for the funeral service of Walcha's Ken Martin, who died on April 7, aged 75. Photo: Peter Hardin

Ken Martin was remembered on Wednesday as a family man who loved his rugby league, horse racing and animals.

More than 300 mourners were at Lincoln Grove Memorial Gardens to farewell Walcha legend Ken, who died on April 7, aged 75.

Such was the turnout under blue skies in Tamworth that many observed the funeral service from the courtyard outside the Alston Chapel, which was packed to capacity.

Liam Martin delivers a wonderful eulogy for his late grandfather Ken, who died on April 7, aged 75.

Liam Martin delivers a wonderful eulogy for his late grandfather Ken, who died on April 7, aged 75.

Ken, a father of four and loved grandfather of five, was the fifth eldest of eight children.

His grandson Liam delivered a wonderful eulogy, paying tribute to a man regarded as 'the Mayor of Walcha Road'.

Born at Kentucky South, Ken was described by sister Melva as a 'blonde, blue-eyed baby loved by all.'

As a youngster, Ken rode stick horses, using shoelaces as a bridle, and his mother was always buying shoelaces.

Ken progressed to riding a real horse to Kentucky Primary School and later attended Uralla High School.

He then joined the Department of Railways, working at various locations throughout the North West before retiring in 1990 after 34 years of fine service.

Ken always had a passion for football, his horses and chooks.

A devoted Wests Tigers supporter, Ken played with distinction for the Werris Creek Magpies and after moving to Walcha became an avid follower of the Walcha Roos, many of whom were in attendance to pay tribute on Wednesday.

Known as a 'little Fred Astaire', Ken also dazzled on the ballroom dancing scene.

Liam recalled Ken's love of chooks, especially his pop’s party trick of placing a bantam under his cap on his head. He would ask visitors 'Want to see my bantams?', then proceed to lift his cap and show them.

Despite health problems in the past decade, Ken was an eternal optimist and happy in the open countryside with his animals.

Renowned as a people person, Ken's love of music shone through the service in Slim Dusty's Looking Forward, Looking Back and Leave Him In The Longyard.

More than 300 mourners were at Lincoln Grove Memorial Gardens in Tamworth to farewell Walcha legend Ken Martin on Wednesday, with Alston Chapel packed to capacity.

More than 300 mourners were at Lincoln Grove Memorial Gardens in Tamworth to farewell Walcha legend Ken Martin on Wednesday, with Alston Chapel packed to capacity.